Significant rain increases flood concerns


We are tracking a storm system that will bring showers and thunderstorm to the region today and Tuesday. There is a slight chance that one or two of these storms could become severe. Storms will be stronger the further southeast you travel in our region. The main threats from said storms will be frequent lightning and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding of small creeks. Storms transition to broad areas of moderate rain overnight and continue through most of Tuesday. Snow levels drop to around 7000 feet. Temperatures in the valleys will only reach the mid 50s to around 60 degrees on Tuesday. By the end of Tuesday areas along a line from Salmon to Butte to Helena to Great Falls and Lewistown could see over 2 inches of rain.

There are a number of flood watches in anticipation of the storm. All of southwest Montana along with Great Falls, Lewistown, and parts of Granite, Powell, Ravalli, and Missoula counties will be under a flood watch until early Wednesday morning. People in areas that could be subject to flooding should closely monitor conditions and look out for any flood warnings issued in the next couple of days.

River levels will jump 1 to 2 feet by Thursday. Minor flood stage or action stage is possible on many rivers in the region due to the rain. Moderate to major flood stage is likely for parts of the Salmon and Jefferson Rivers. If you're in these areas, now is the time to plan for flooding.

The forecast beyond Tuesday is a lot sunnier with only occasional afternoon showers Thursday and Friday. Highs will be in the 70s with lows in the 40s through Sunday with the exception of Friday when highs should only be in the 60s.